Using nothing more than PET bottles and a special liquid mix, Liter of Light brings light to impoverished communities for a lot less.
The project started in 2011 by the Philippine-based charity MyShelter Foundation, aiming to revolutionize and uplift the lives of poor people especially in vulnerable communities.
The bottles are typically fixed into holes in a corrugated iron roof. The bottles then becomes a “bulb”, formerly recycled plastic bottles. The secret in making them shine like lightbulbs is bleached water. Bringing more light than a traditional window that can crack or leak during typhoon season, the bottle bulbs costing around 45 pesos per piece refract the sun’s rays producing a glowing light equivalent to 55 watts with zero carbon emissions.
In 2011, the Liter of Light project was recognized by the UN’s Momentum for Change Initiative in Durban, South Africa. In January this year, it was proclaimed as the winning entry in the Zayed Future Energy Prize for non-profit organization. It was popularized by a young social entrepreneur Illac Diaz.
It is already lighting up villages in other countries like Pakistan, Mexico and Colombia, and it will soon be rolled out in Egypt and Ethiopia.
Originally, the solar light bulb could only be used in the daytime, but attaching 1-watt lighting to the bottle with solar panels and a battery has made it usable at night. The solar panel can also be used to charge mobile phones.
Impressed by the creative solution and affordability of the project, officials from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) said it will continuously assist training the youth and people in the villages in the assembly of the solar bulb lights and posts.
A disgruntled YouTube user going by the name of sydneydoc quoting a Chinese report decry the invention as fake, despite many people attesting the feasibility of the contraption.
Needless to say, the YouTube user sydneydoc has been told and rekt.
A demonstration of the technology can be watched here.